Thursday, July 30, 2015

No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake

Today is National Cheesecake Day, and here's a fabulous easy recipe from Yvonne Ruperti at  Serious Eats for a No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake. Perfect, especially when you don't want to turn on the oven!You'll love this cheesecake. As always, use the very best chocolate and other ingredients. Just an FYI, a no-bake cheesecake is slightly denser than a baked one...but oh so great!

NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

Ingredients 
10 ounces chocolate cookie wafers (Nabisco Famous wafers)
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
8 Tbsp sweet butter, melted
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp confectioners' sugar
2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
7 ounces dark chocolate (65-75%), melted
Cocoa powder for dusting

Directions
Pulse cookie crumbs and granulated sugar in food processor until fine.
Place in large bowl and toss with melted butter until moistened.
Firmly press into bottom and up sides of 8-inch springform pan.

Using mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and creamy, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
Reduce speed to low and mix in vanilla, sour cream, and melted chocolate until smooth.
Spoon chocolate mixture into crust and smooth top.
Chill until set, about 4 hours.
Dust with cocoa powder and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Play it Cool: Chocolate Drinks!

The San Francisco Bay Area is sweltering. O.K. you may live in an area where it's 120 degrees/100 percent humidity, but here in the Bay Area, when it hits 100 degrees with 60% humidity we're fainting left and right. So I thought it was time to do a fun post which highlights two different chocolatiers and their recipes for Cool (in both senses of the word) Chocolate Drinks.

The first is from Chuao. If you haven't tried their chocolate, you're in for a treat. They have some very fun chocolate bars such as Potato Chip, Firecracker, and Rocky Road.  For this Chocolate Frappe Recipe, use Chuao Drinking Chocolate. It comes in a cute tin or a larger 5 pound bag...either Spicy Maya (which in bar form is one of my favorites) or Deluxious Dark.  I've tried this with both!
And, then today I got another recipe for Ice Ice Baby from MarieBelle New York. I have their fabulous Dark Hot Chocolate Mix, and I'm going to make this tonight. Of course, if you're in New York, they'll mix this up for you at their shop! Be sure and try truffles, bars and more! Yum!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Milk Chocolate Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting

Today is Milk Chocolate Day! Well, of course, you can have a cold glass of chocolate milk, but if you're feeling a bit more adventuresome, make this fabulous Milk Chocolate Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting.  This is essentially a butter cake with three chocolate layers. Recipe was developed by Sylvia Thompson -- The Birthday Cake Book (1993).

MILK CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH MILK CHOCOLATE FROSTING


Milk Chocolate Cake

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 Tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tablespoon salt
6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
1 cup water
1 cup sweet butter, softened to consistency of mayonnaise
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light-brown sugar, lumps crushed, packed
1 1/2 Tbsp Madagascar vanilla
6 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk or soured milk, room temperature
Milk Chocolate Frosting

Directions
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in bowl.
In medium heat-proof bowl over barely simmering water, melt chocolate in water, stirring occasionally until perfectly smooth. Remove from heat.
In large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Continue beating while sprinkling in granulated and brown sugars, 1 tablespoon at time. Add vanilla and beat until very light. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly blended after each, then beat until very light and creamy. Blend in chocolate. Add flour in 3 parts by sprinkling over bowl. Alternate with buttermilk in 2 parts. Beat on lowest speed just until each addition disappears. Fold batter with large flexible rubber spatula just until thoroughly blended.
Divide batter into buttered 9-inch round cake pans with bottoms lined with wax paper. Smooth tops, then push batter slightly up against sides. Bake 2 layers on middle oven rack and 1 layer on lower oven rack at 350 degrees. Stagger so top pans are not directly over bottom pan.
Bake until wood pick emerges clean from center of cake, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Then turn out onto racks, top sides up, to cool completely.
Up to 6 hours before serving, set thickest layer on platter, bottoms up. Spread with 2/3 cup frosting. Repeat with second layer. Place last layer top side up. Frost top and sides. Keep cool. Do not refrigerate.

Milk Chocolate Frosting 

Ingredients
14 ounces milk chocolate
5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch-processed)
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sweet butter
7 - 8 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp  Madagascar vanilla

Directions
In medium heat-proof bowl over (not touching) barely simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat.
In food processor or mixing bowl, blend sugar and cocoa. Melt butter with 7 Tbsp milk at MEDIUM  in microwave or over low heat.
Add hot butter to sugar with chocolate and vanilla. Process or beat until smooth. Do not overprocess. If too thick, beat in remaining tablespoon hot milk. If too thin, add sugar. Spread at once.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Chocolate Cherry Bonbons: Daryl Wood Gerber

I love when my mystery and chocolate worlds collide! Today I welcome back Daryl Wood Gerber. Agatha Award-winning and nationally bestselling author DARYL WOOD GERBER writes the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, set in the fictional coastal town of Crystal Cove, California. As AVERY AAMES, she also writes the Cheese Shop Mysteries, set in quaint Providence, Ohio. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote”. She is married, loves to cook, and has a darling, frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky. Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Giveaway: Comment below about your favorite chocolate or favorite chocolate cookbook to win a copy of Fudging the Books by Daryl Wood Gerber. Comments must be posted by July 31. Be sure and post your email address. Winner picked from random generated number.

Daryl Wood Gerber:
Chocolate Cherry Bonbons 

In the opening chapter of FUDGING THE BOOKS, there is a mention of chocolate cherry bonbons. One of my fans read the excerpt I posted on my website and said, “Boy, I hope that recipe is in the book.” Well, it’s not, but it’s right here! I thought that this blog would be the perfect place to share it first, pre-release of FUDGING THE BOOKS.

When I write A Cookbook Nook Mystery, I try to include all sorts of delectable cookbook titles and food. After all, foodies are my readers. However, I must admit that sometimes I dream up menus and foods because that’s what I want to eat at the time, and I don’t have all the recipes. It’s sort of a wish list. Uh-oh. I have now learned that I had better have a good idea of what goes into each recipe because fans want to know how to make them! In fact, when I wrote the very first Cheese Shop Mystery, a fan asked for a copy of my five-cheese mac ‘n cheese recipe. I whipped that baby up in a matter of an hour and shared it with her, and it went viral. I hope this bonbon recipe will go viral, too.

It’s so easy. Just a few steps. Which means my protagonist Jenna Hart, an avid reader, foodie, and former ad executive who has come home to Crystal Cove to help her aunt open a culinary bookshop and cafĂ©, can make them. See, Jenna isn’t much of a cook—her mother did all the cooking when she was growing up—but she’s learning, one easy recipe at a time.

I hope you’ll join her on her journey as she settles into Crystal Cove. She’s learning how to cook while solving a few crimes along the way.

CHOCOLATE CHERRY BONBONS 

Ingredients: 
1-5 oz. bag dried cherries
3 Tbsp chocolate chips
1 Tbsp cocoa
1Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp coconut flour extra cocoa for coating (about 4 Tbsp)

Directions:
Put all the ingredients into a food processor. Process for about 1 minute. It will still appear that there are hard “chocolate chip” chunks in the mixture, but when you scoop out the mixture, it will be a sticky paste. That’s good.
Roll the mixture into 10-12 walnut-sized balls and set them on parchment paper. Remember to smooth them by rolling between your palms.
Then put the extra cocoa into a shallow bowl, and roll each ball in the cocoa. Shake off the excess cocoa.
Note: This can get messy, but it’s fun! You can eat these right away, or set them into the refrigerator to let them get firm. They'll keep in the refrigerator for at least a week, maybe more…if you can resist!